By balancing the interests of both employers and employees, we strive to maintain a harmonious industrial relationship. Visit the sections listed below for a better understanding of the state of labour relations in Singapore.
In this section
The Employment Act: Who it covers
The Employment Act covers every employee (regardless of nationality) who is under a contract of service with an employer, except:
- Any person employed in a managerial or executive position
- Any seaman;
- Any domestic worker; and
- Any person employed by a Statutory Board or the Government.
Part IV of the Act, which provides for rest days, hours of work and other conditions of service, applies only to:
- Workmen earning not more than $4,500 basic monthly salaries and
- Employees earning not more than $2,000 basic monthly salaries.
Managers and executives are employees with executive or supervisory functions. These functions include the authority to influence or make decision on issues such as recruitment, discipline, termination of employment, assessment of performance and reward, or involvement in the formulation of strategies and policies of the enterprise, or the management and running of the business.
They also include professionals with tertiary education and specialised knowledge/skills and whose employment terms are comparable to those of managers and executives. Professionals such as lawyers, accountants, dentists and doctors whose nature and terms of employment are comparable to executives would generally be deemed as such, and hence they would not be covered under the Act.
Junior managers and executives earning $4,500 basic monthly salary and below are only covered partially on the basic payment of salary. All other provisions do not apply to them.
A workman is an employee whose work involves manual labour. This includes a worker who falls under any of the following categories:
- Any person, skilled or unskilled, doing manual work, including any artisan or apprentice but excluding any seaman or domestic servant;
- Any person, other than clerical staff, employed in the operation or maintenance of mechanically propelled vehicles that transport passengers, for hire or commercial purposes;
- Any person employed to supervise any workman and perform manual work. However, this is subject to the requirement that the time spent on manual work must be more than half of the total working time in a salary period; or
- Any person specified in the First Schedule of the Employment Act, namely:
- Construction workers;
- Machine operators and assemblers;
- Metal and machinery workers;
- Train,bus, lorry and van drivers;
- Train and bus inspectors;and
- All workmen employed on piece rates at the employer's premises.
It covers both local and foreign employees. It does not make any distinction between a temporary employee, contract employee, daily-rated employee or employee on tenured employment.
For employees working less than 35 hours a week, they are covered by the Employment of Part-Time Employees Regulations, which provide certain flexibility for both the employers and employees, including the pro-rating of employment benefits, encashment of annual leave and provision of rest day.
An employee covered by the Employment Act is entitled to paid sick leave, including medical leave issued by a dentist if:
An employee covered by the Employment Act is entitled to paid sick leave, including medical leave issued by a dentist if:
- The employee has served the employer for at least three months.
- The employee has informed or attempted to inform the employer of his/her absence within 48 hours. Otherwise, the employee will be deemed to be absent from work without permission or reasonable excuse.
- The sick leave is certified by the company's doctor, or by a government doctor (including doctors from approved public medical institutions).
However, where appointed company doctors are available, the employee should consult them unless the clinics are inconveniently located or in emergency situations.
The employer has the discretion to accept medical certificates from:
- A private doctor; or
- A traditional Chinese medical practitioner.
The approved public medical institutions are:
- Alexandra Hospital
- Changi General Hospital
- Institute of Mental Health / Woodbridge Hospital
- Jurong Medical Centre
- KK Women's and Children's Hospital
- Khoo Teck Puat Hospital
- National Cancer Centre
- National Dental Centre
- National Heart Centre
- National Neuroscience Institute
- National Skin Centre
- National University Hospital
- NHG Eye Institute
- Singapore General Hospital
- Singapore National Eye Centre
- Tan Tock Seng Hospital
- The Cancer Institute
- The Heart Institute
- All polyclinics under the National Healthcare Group
- All polyclinics under the Singapore Health Services.
The number of days of paid sick leave a new employee is entitled to depends on his service period:
|No of months of service completed of a new employee||Paid Outpatient non-hospitalisation leave (days)||Paid hospitalisation leave (days)*|
|4 months||5 + 3 = 8||15 + 15 = 30|
|5 months||8 + 3 = 11||30 + 15 = 45|
|6 months||11 + 3 = 14||45 + 15 = 60|
* An employee is deemed to be hospitalised if he/she is certified by a doctor to be in need of hospitalisation. He does not necessarily have to be warded in a hospital.
Limit on total number of paid sick leave
The amount of paid outpatient and hospitalisation sick leave that an employee can take is capped at his sick leave entitlement.
For example, if an employee has already taken 14 days of outpatient sick leave in that year, the number of days of hospitalisation sick leave that he can take is 46 days (60 – 14 = 46). Likewise, for those in their 3rd, 4th and 5th month of service, the total number of days of sick leave is also capped at the respective hospitalisation leave entitlements.
Reimbursement of medical expenses
If an employee has worked for at least three months, his employer is legally obliged to bear the medical consultation fee. For other medical costs, such as medication, treatment or ward charges, the employer is obliged to bear such costs depending on the medical benefits provided for in the employee's employment contract or the collective agreement signed between the company with its union.
Salary to employees on sick leave
If an employee is on paid hospitalisation leave, his employer has to pay him at his gross rate of pay. If an employee is on paid outpatient sick leave, his employer has to pay him at his gross rate of pay excluding any shift allowance.
The Tripartite Review Committee on the Employment Act has recommended that shift allowance be payable under extenuating circumstances. For shift allowances which has all along been given on a monthly basis, and no deduction has been made for absence due to outpatient sick leave, such payment should continue to be paid unless the employer and the employee or the trade union representing the employees have negotiated and agreed to make variations to the existing arrangement.
Sick leave on rest days, public holidays, non-working days, and during annual leave & no-pay leave
An employee is not entitled to paid sick leave on the following occasions, even if he is given a medical leave by the doctor.
- Rest days
- Public holidays
- Non-working days
- During annual leave
- During no-pay leave
This is because the employee is not required to report for work on these days and there is therefore no necessity for him to apply for sick leave to stay away from work. However, he is entitled to claim for the medical consultation fee. His entitlement to claim for other medical expenses would depend on the medical benefits provided in his employment contract or the collective agreement signed between the company and its union.
If an employee falls sick on a half working day (e.g. Saturday)
Sick leave taken on a half working day (e.g. Saturday) should be considered as one day's sick leave.
If an employee falls sick while on annual leave
If an employee falls sick on his annual leave, his absence from work would still be treated as annual leave and not sick leave. However, his employer may cancel his annual leave and as a concession, allow him to take sick leave instead.
If an employee runs out of sick leave
If an employee is sick but has used up his/her sick leave entitlement, the employer can:
- Allow the employee to go on extended no-pay leave for an agreed period;
- Make other working arrangements that are acceptable to both parties such as re-assigning the employee's duties; or
- Obtain a medical assessment of the employee's suitability for continued employment.
If the employee is certified unfit for continued employment, the employer can terminate his/her services. In such a situation, the contract is deemed to be frustrated The employer can compensate the employee:
- Based on what is provided for in the employment contract; or
- By making an ex-gratia payment to him/her on goodwill basis.
In a volatile business environment, an employee can expect to change employers more frequently in his working life. With each change, the employee may lose his medical benefits provided by the respective employer. The tripartite partners have been encouraging employers to enhance the portability of inpatient/hospitalisation medical benefits. To incentivise employers to make the move, the Government has revised the tax policy to allow employers implementing any of the following three portable medical benefits options to enjoy higher tax deduction for medical expenses of up to 2% of total employees’ remuneration (the normal tax deduction limit is 1%):
|Options||Summary of main features|
|a) Portable Medical Benefits Scheme (PMBS)|
|b) Transferable Medical Insurance Scheme (TMIS)|
|c) Provision of Shield plan (i.e. MediShield or Medisave-approved private integrated plan)|
Qualifying conditions for 2% tax deduction limit
Employers implementing PMBS
Employer should implement PMBS for at least 20% of the local employees1 employed by him as at the first day of the financial year being assessed and all local employees who commence their employment during that financial year.
For full time employees, the additional monthly contribution to Medisave account should be of at least 1% of an employee's gross monthly salary, subject to a minimum amount of $16 per calendar month.
For part-time employees2 , the additional monthly Medisave contribution should be computed based on 1% of their actual gross salary for the calendar month.
Employers implementing TMIS
Employer should implement TMIS for at least 50% of local employees employed by him as at the first day of the financial year being assessed.
Employers providing Shield Plan
Employer should provide Shield plan for at least 20% of the local employees employed by him as at the first day of the financial year being assessed and all local employees who commence their employment during that financial year; and
Employer should pay Shield plan premium on behalf of his employees direct to the insurance company or reimburse the premium into his employees’ Medisave accounts.
1 Local employees refer to Singapore citizens or PRs employed on a full time or part-time contract of employment, regardless of the number of hours worked.
2 The definition of part time employees will follow that in the Employment Act.
Encouraging employers to make ad-hoc Medisave contributionTo encourage employers to make ad-hoc Medisave contribution as and when they can afford it, additional tax deduction beyond the 1% limit will be allowed for the amount of ad-hoc Medisave contributions made, even if employers are not adopting any of the portable medical benefits Options (i.e. PMBS, TMIS or provision of Shield plan). The total tax deduction for medical expenses will be subject to the overall cap of 2%.
Additional Medisave Contribution and Tax Exemption for EmployeesTo cater for the additional Medisave contribution under PMBS, Provision of Shield plan and ad-hoc contribution, the limit of additional Medisave contribution has been raised to $1,500 per year. The tax exemption limit for employees for additional Medisave contribution is $1,500 per year.
Administrative requirementsAn employer who wishes to make additional Medisave contribution for his employees may register with the Employer Registration Section of CPF Board for a new CPF Submission Number (CSN).
Frequently Asked QuestionsPlease refer to the set of Frequently Asked Questions for more information on Portable Medical Benefits for Employees.
EnquiriesEnquiries can be made with:
- Ministry of Manpower at 6438 5122.
- CPF Employee Call Centre at 1800-2271188.
- Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore at 1800-3568300 (individual income tax), 1800-3568622 (corporate income tax) and 1800-3568611 (business income tax)
ဒါကတျခား၀တ္လ္ဆိုဒ္ NTUC က အေမးအေျဖေလးေတြကိုလဲ ဖတ္ၾကည့္လိုက္ပါသိသင့္တယ္ထင္လို႔ တင္ေပးလိုက္ပါတယ္ သိခ်က္တဲ့အခ်က္ေလးေတြရွိပါလိမ့္မယ္တင္ပါတယ္.....
Query on Benefit
Question Posted On: 14/08/2008 14:01:03
Our company provide all employees in Singapore a hospitalization and surgical
insurance which includes their non-working spouses and children under the age of 21 as
long as attending school or Polytechnic or Institute of Technical Education (ITE) or Junior
College. If the child is in NS this year but will continue with studies after NS, does the company have to cover him during his NS days and if he is below 21 after NS, does the company need to cover him?
Thanks to advise,
Answer: Ref: MT Hi Esther, Thank you for your email. Employees' medical benefits vary from one company to another. May we suggest that you check with your employer the details of the terms and conditions contained in your hospitalization and surgical insurance policy provided by your employer....Read More>
Question Posted On: 05/08/2008 15:37:44
Question: The MOM employment act only protect those earning 1600 and below. My whole office, everyone is earning above that amount. A simple thing like gazetted PH that falls on a saturday we do not get. Its fustrating that my HR keep using the MOM against us. SOBS!
Answer: Ref : AW Hi Hui Li, Thanks for your email. Employees who earn more than $1600 are not covered under Part IV of the Employment Act. Thus granting off in lieu for a Public Holiday falling on a Saturday is subject to company's policy. While...Read More>
Question Posted On: 01/08/2008 10:03:17
I would like to know an employee entitlement to Hospitalisation leave. If she was granted hospital leave and after she was discharged from the hospital, the doctor still issued her hospitalisation leave citing that she is required to still receive doctor treatment but are allowed to be discharged and rest at home, is that still considered as HL or outpatient sick leave?
Answer: Ref: MM Hi Mariana Thank you for your email. If the medical certificate clearly states that an employee is granted hospitalization leave, most companies do treat that as hospitalization leave despite the fact that the employee is recuperating at home and not in the hospital. However, each company...Read More>
Question Posted On: 23/07/2008 19:30:15
Question: due to my work i have health problems which leads to medical mc to be taken
Answer: Re: TC Thank you for you email. We are unable to ascertain your query. Would you be able to provide us with more details in order for us to respond? Regards
Question Posted On: 21/07/2008 13:19:00
Question: Dear Aunt IRIS,
My cousin's wife whose nationality is Thai and she is a SPR since 25 August 2005. They have 2 children aged 3 years old and the other 7 months. She started working on 3 March 2006 in Sheng Siong Supermarket Pte Ltd.
Recently she wanted to apply Childcare Leave from the company but was told that they do not have any Childcare Leave entitlement benefit to employees. So she wrote to MOM to enquire and after MOM replied she printed out the replied and the rules and regulations from MOM about the Childcare Leave to her company. But they just tell her off that she can complain to MOM if she wants because she is not entitled to the childcare leave.
Is it true that she does not entitled to? Can the employer dismiss her after her complaint to MOM?
Answer: Ref: PC Hi Sim Thank you for your email. Employees who are covered under the Employment Act will be entitled to 2 days of statutory employer-paid childcare leave per year if they have any child under the age of 7 years. Regardless of the number of children, total childcare leave for each parent...Read More>
Question Posted On: 17/07/2008 12:00:05
Question: Dear Sir/Madam,
Currently I am working in A company which was referred by agent. The agent required me to sign agreement letter with them after I accepted offer from company A. Is it fair for me? I do not feel it is fair because the agent want me to sign after I accept the offer. I refused to sign the agreement because in the event I want to resign within 3 month I need to pay them 80% my salary, it is not a fair clause for me. May I know, what is your opinion?
What I scared it happened now, after one month join with A company I found out that company are going to restructuring. I do not feel comfortable with what going on with the company and I decided to leave but now the agent ask me to pay 80% of my salary then I can leave the company if not I need to serve 90 days before I can tender. Currently, I have new offer from other company and require me to start work immediately. I am confused now because I do not willing to pay the agent since indirectly she has cheated me which ask me to sign the agreement letter with them after I accept the offer.
Answer: Ref: MM Hi Susan Thank you for your email. From what you have mentioned in your email, the moment you accepted the offer from company A referred by the agent, it is based on the understanding and agreement that you will need to pay 80% of your salary if you resign within...Read More>
Question Posted On: 11/07/2008 10:10:29
Question: Hi Aunt I.R.I.S
I have enquiries on contract and notice.
I am under a 90 day s contract with a recruitment agency and these 90 days cover my probation period as well. Contract written - If I fail to report for work or resign within 90 days (from commencement date-5 May 08), I shall pay 80% of my offered monthly gross salary to the agency. The 90th day falls in Aug 2. First situation - can I tender in middle of July or end of July and work till (notice period) the termination of the contract (Aug 2)? Will there be a breach of contract? Second situation - tender only on the 91th day which is Aug 3. As Aug 3 is a sunday, can I hand over the letter on Aug 1?
About notice period. Appointment letter wrote that my benefit plans will details in the company Rules of Employment as well as the local employment terms and conditions. You will be subjected to a three-month probation period where your performance will be assessed and upon successful completion, a confirmation letter will be issued to you.
Other than that nothing else is written in the employment letter. Benefit plans and notice period did not state in the contract or verbally told me too. I assume local employment terms and conditions refer to Ministry of Manpower terms and conditions right? Accordingly to it, if no notice period written in the employment letter or no verbally told, I am entitled to a day notice right? By the way, my pay is more than 1.6K.
Hope to hear some comments from you and sorry for long question.
Answer: Ref: MM Hi Na Thank you for your email. Since the contract is time-specific [ie. 90 days ending on 2 Aug 08], there may not be any need for any termination notice if you work up to and including the 2 Aug 08. Under Section 9(1) of the Employment Act, the contract...Read More>
Question Posted On: 08/07/2008 11:24:12
Question: My husband was recently admited and hospitalised for Minor Stroke . Upon discharged, he was granted hospitalisation Leave.
After which at the review, he was granted another 2 weeks leave but the MC states as Outpatient Leave. Is this considered as hospitalisation or as outpatient leave.
Answer: Re:TC Hi Thank you for the email. If the medical certificate grants outpatient leave, it should be considered as outpatient and not hospitalisation leave. However, please check with his employer, as different companies may have different practices for employees who needs more time to recuperate. Rgds
Question Posted On: 04/07/2008 11:33:08
Question: Just want to know if this policy is fair to employee. Having abdominal problem for past 6mths. Company doctor send for further investigation to Poly. Poly doctor send me for an X-ray & Ultra sound. My xray results shows no abnormality. Still waiting for my ultra sound result. My company policy state that I cannot claim for my X-ray fees because, there were no problem with it & no follow up treatment. I was also told that if my ultra sound result also shows no abnormality, I cannot claim for that either. This scenario is stipulated our company policy as follows. Under the Exclusion claws: "investigation for the primary purpose of diagnosis".
My question. If the company doctor sees a reason to send me for further investigation, is it my fault that the test show no abnomality & I have to pay for all the charges? Thank you
Answer: Re: TC Hi Thank you for your email. From what I have read in your email, I am afraid that your medical benefits are clearly stated in your company policy. You may want to consider appealing to your company to help you bear some of your medical costs. Rgds
Question Posted On: 03/07/2008 17:57:29
Question: Hi Aunt Iris,
My contract states that I am liable for damage if my service is terminated before 1 year due to:
1) Resignation initiated by me
2) Dismissal by company due to professional misconduct
I want to know whether the termination date is the date that I submitted my resignation notice, or the last day of work (which is after a 1-month notice period)
Answer: Ref: MM Hi Yoezer Thank you for your email. From what you have written, this termination date should be the day you hand in your resignation notice. Regards
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